Can you assume you can depend on your memory when you write your lifestories? The problem with this assumption is that memory isn’t always as reliable as you may want it to be! What are the best interview practices to find out if your memory is spot on?
Interviewing relatives and others for memories
In this video lesson, “Best Interview Practices for Writing a Memoir”, you will study why to conduct an interview with people who shared the experience you are writing about and how to do so. The lesson is geared to interviewing older relatives but it is just as true of interviewing a sibling, a progeny or a co-worker.
Here are three takeaways of this video:
- Memory can fail you. You simply may not be able to recall the information you need to write about another person—or yourself—with accuracy and detail.
- Memory can mislead you. It can blur the negative role you may have played and cast another’s positive role in the shadows. Memory does tend to be flattering to the one doing the remembering. Conversely, it may elevate your having been “bad” to “really bad” when you were merely thoughtless or small in your actions.
- Memory can simply be wrong. Time has ways of altering a memory. You may forget that you didn’t know the facts at the time. You may confuse other people’s accounts with your own experience of an event. It is also possible, because of your age or your needs at the time, that you had a partial or biased view of all that happened and why.
Click below to watch the video lesson.
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